Thursday, February 28, 2013

MiniDuke: New cyber-attack ‘hacks governments’ for political secrets
The governments of at least 20 countries may have fallen victim to a sophisticated new cyber-attack. Security experts believe the hackers are attempting to steal political intelligence.
Computer security firms Kaspersky Lab and CrySyS Lab discovered that the malware, dubbed “MiniDuke,” targeted government computers in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal and Romania along with think tanks, research institutes and healthcare providers in the United States.
“The technical indicators from our analysis show this is a new type of threat actor that hasn’t been seen before,” Kurt Baumgartner, a senior security researcher with Kaspersky Lab, told RT.
Although experts avoid speculating on who the attackers may be, Baumgartner clarified that “based on the target victims and the functionality of the malware” the objective of MiniDuke’s authors is “to collect geopolitical intelligence.”
The threat operates on low-level code to stay hidden, and uses Twitter and Google to get instructions and updates. It allegedly infected PCs when ‘victims’ opened a cleverly disguised Adobe PDF attachment to an email.
“The high level of encryption in the malware and the flexible system it used to communicate with the C2 via Twitter and Google indicates this was a strategically planned operation,” Baumgartner said.
The PDF documents were specifically tailored to their targets, according to the researchers. The attachments referred to highly relevant topics subjects like “foreign policy,” a “human rights seminar,” or “NATO membership plans.”
When the files were opened, MiniDuke would install itself on the user’s computer.
So far it is only known that the malware then connects to two servers, one in Panama and one in Turkey, but security researchers say there are no clear indications of who was behind the online attacks.
According to Karpersky Lab the spyware was written in “assembler language,” a low-level code where each statement corresponds to a specific command, and is very small in size, only 20 kilobytes. Assembler language codes are written specifically for each system they are meant to attack, as opposed to higher-level codes, which can infect multiple types of technologies.
The way the malware was created and used indicates that the attackers “have knowledge from the elite, ‘old school’ type of malicious programmers who were extremely effective at creating highly complex viruses in the past,” Baumgartner says. “MiniDuke’s attackers have combined these skills with the newly advanced sandbox-evading exploits to target high-profile victims, which is unique and something we haven’t seen before.”
MiniDuke is a three-stage attack, technology news and information website, Arstechnica, explains. First it tricks a victim into opening an authentic-looking PDF document, and then infected machines start using Twitter or Google “to retrieve encrypted instructions showing them where to report for additional backdoors.”
“These accounts were created by MiniDuke’s Command and Control (C2) operators and the tweets maintain specific tags labeling encrypted URLs for the backdoors,” Kaspersky Lab said in a statement. “Based on the analysis, it appears that the MiniDuke’s creators provide a dynamic backup system that also can fly under the radar – if Twitter isn’t working or the accounts are down, the malware can use Google Search to find the encrypted strings to the next C2.”
Stages two and three are hidden inside a GIF image file which is downloaded from the command server and “disguised as pictures that appear on a victim’s machine.”

Why Russia Needs Alaska

by Dave Hodges -
russia attacks america red dawnIn Part one, I detailed how Obama is the right communist at precisely the right time to bring about the demise of this country. Part one revealed how Obama was born and bred to be a communist and we see the evidence of this through his East German Stasi tactics within his daily routine as evidenced by his help in passing the NDAA and other draconian unconstitutional legislation. In Part one, I also detailed how prominent Russian defectors have tried to warn America that Russia will rise up and attack the United States.
It is clear that any Russian attack upon the United States will come through Alaska and I am now of the opinion that Russia will not wait for us to attack Iran before attacking the United States. The following paragraphs will demonstrate why Alaska is so vitally important to the fulfillment of Russia’s communist plans for world domination.

The Heartland Theory

British geographer and military historian, Sir Halford MacKinder, in1904, wrote an article that changed how politicians and military men viewed the world. It was a perception that influenced Hitler to send his troops eastward in an attack upon Russia in 1940. It was also the driving force that led to the underpinnings for superpower foreign policy which guided foreign policy for both sides during the Cold War. The theory that had so influenced nearly three generations of strategists was called simply, the Heartland Theory.
Basically, Mackinder’s Heartland Theory viewed geo-political military history as a struggle between land-based and sea-based powers. Mackinder believed the world had become a “closed” system, with virtually no new lands left for the Europeans powers to discover, to conquer, and to fight over without creating chaos elsewhere. According to the theory the common denominator for world conflict has been reduced to sea powers vs. land-based powers which would subsequently struggle for dominance of the world, and the ultimate victor would be in a position to set up a world empire. The determining factor in this struggle was physical geography; “Man and not nature initiates, but nature in large measure controls”.

Containing Russia Is the Key to World Peace

From Mackinder’s perspective, Soviet Russia had to be contained within the heartland. Mackinder’s believed that whosoever controlled Eurasia, controlled the world, so long as the controller had access to useable ports. The problem for Russia is that they have so few usable ports thus impacting commerce and the movement of men and material in a time of war. So long as Russian could be prevented from being a major sea power, the forces of the United States and Western Europe were safe. However, if Russia should become a sea power in conjunction with its massive land-based power, Russia could rule the world.
Zbigniew Brzezinski confirms the Heartland Theory, in his book, A Geostrategic Framework for the Conduct of the US-Soviet Contest (pp 22-23), n which he echoed the words of Mackinder when he stated that “Whoever controls Eurasia dominates the globe. If the Soviet Union captures the peripheries of this landmass … it would not only win control of vast human, economic and military resources, but also gain access to the geostrategic approaches to the Western Hemisphere – the Atlantic and the Pacific.”  For Russia, controlling the peripheries of the landmass means controlling Alaska and having access to its ports. This would make Russia the world’s most preeminent land and sea power and the world would have to pay homage to the new global master.

Stalin’s Secret Plans to Invade Alaska In 1951

stalinIn 1999, at a conference held at Yale University, previously-secret Russian documents revealed that Russian Dictator Joseph Stalin had undergone extensive planning in preparation to invade North America as early as 1951. The event was one of a series of programs sponsored by the Washington D.C.-based Cold War International History Project (CWIHP), which monitors new documents pertaining to the Cold War. The Yale conference centered on Stalin’s relationship with the United States.
These documents, from the Cold War, revealed that Stalin had a definitive plan to attack Alaska in 1951-52 and had undergone major military preparations in anticipation of the invasion.  Russia has always considered itself to be landlocked and this served as the major motivation for Russia’s planned incursion which would have given Russia access to good sea ports. Stalin subsequently died and the plans were abandoned, at least temporarily.

Suspicious Happenings In Alaska

In light of the evidence, it is abundantly clear that there are clear economic, political and military reasons why the Russians would want to occupy Alaska. My interest in this topic surfaced quite serendipitously as a couple of listeners to my radio program sent me information on the Agenda 21 invasion of small Alaska communities, and oh, by the way, they also reported that they were seeing Russian troops in their respective communities.
alaska map 2The sighting of Russian troops in small Alaskan towns such Ketchikan, Alaska, got my undivided attention. Ketchikan is the southeastern most city in Alaska. With an estimated population of 8,050. Ketchikan is the fifth-most populous city in the state. Another area where there are civilian sightings of Russian troops is in Sitka, Alaska. The City of Sitka, formerly New Archangel under Russian rule, is located on Baranof Island and the southern half of Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, one military veteran reports seeing Russian submarines, on a frequent basis, just off the coast. Further, there are civilian reports of Russian vehicles and troops moving through Alaska north of Anchorage. These are only anecdotal accounts and further proof is required in to validate these eyewitness accounts. Yet, there are indeed verifiable, reported media accounts of Russian troops on American soil.
The presence of Russian troops on American soil is very troublesome. America does not need to rely on the anecdotal accounts of Alaskan civilians to be concerned about the presence of Russian troops on American soil. Russian commandos are also “training” at Fort Carson, in Colorado Springs since last spring. Why is this concerning? The United States is about to go to war with Iran for selling its oil to Russia, China and India for gold instead of the Petrodollar. Russia and China have threatened to nuke the United States if it dares to attack Iran. Russia is, and should be considered to be an enemy of the United States.

A Stunning Act of Treason

alaska 2Obama has given away seven strategic, oil-rich Alaskan islands to the Russians at a time when we could be going to war with Russia. At minimum, the oil, alone, from these Islands should be considered to be a military asset. I remain very concerned that these seven islands in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea could also be used as a military staging area from which to invade Alaska and defend its new claims of the mineral rich resources at the North Pole.
The Department of Interior estimates billions of barrels of oil are at stake, related to these seven Islands. Didn’t Obama promise energy independence. Didn’t this proven communist president promise to help the economy bounce back by lessening our dependence on foreign oil? And despite our ongoing economic depression, Obama killed the Keystone Pipeline a few months ago. Perhaps, very soon, America will not need the Keystone Pipeline because Alaska will not be remaining as a viable member of the United States. To those who think that Obama would never sacrifice Alaska to Russia, then please tell us “conspiracy theorists” why he would give away seven Islands, one as big as Delaware, with great natural resources, to the Russians?  This is a case of bold-faced treason plain and simple. Obama and his cabinet should be arrested, tried and sentenced as we would with any traitor. Yet, there is more.

The Giveaway of Alaska

There exists documented facts which support the reasons why Alaska should be placed on high alert.
Russia recently sent four brigades to the Arctic. The Arctic can be used as a staging area for the invasion of the North Pole to protect its recent mineral claims, but more importantly, this area of the Arctic could serve as a base of operations from which to invade Alaska with the help of pre-positioned assets within the state.
In March of 2012, with a microphone left on. Obama made an unguarded comment to Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev to be “more lenient on nuclear issues” because he could be more flexible “after the November election”. Does more flexible mean killing the Keystone Pipeline prior to giving away seven rich Alaskan Islands to the Russians? Does more flexible mean letting the Russians train in Colorado Springs and in Alaska? Does being more flexible mean compromising our defense of Alaska?

More Treason From Obama

Although some journalists have said that they suspect that Obama is preparing to give away Alaska to Russia. I previously did not see how a sitting president could do such a thing and remain in office. However, if Russia were to militarily seize Alaska, that would provide Obama with a plausible excuse in which he claims America was caught off guard and the danger was unforeseen. Obama could best accomplish this by weakening the defenses of Alaska and the evidence is supportive of this suspicion. The evidence does not support a timetable, however, I would guess that this event may transpire in Obama’s last year in office, or possibly in the lame duck session where he cannot be held accountable. This article will hopefully remove Obama’s ability to excuse away the notion that America lost Alaska because it go caught with its proverbial pants down.
The giving away of seven strategic, oil-rich Islands is a good start to support a claim of treason because Obama is purposely weakening the defense of Alaska. Also, local residents along the Alaskan coast have reported to me that the massive over flights along the coast have all but ceased. The F-22′s have disappeared. The Air Force says the flights have been suspended because of oxygen concerns which are impacting the pilots. Then shouldn’t the flights be replaced by F-16′s? What about national security?These over flights have been a staple of Alaskan defense since the Cold War. If we are close to war with Iran and its ally, Russia, then shouldn’t we beefing up our patrols in Alaska?
Recently the ATF asked for gun registration records in Alaska. Perhaps the Russians need to know, in advance, where the most civilian opposition will come from when they take over Alaska.

Are Plans Being Made For a Post-Russian Takeover of Alaska?

It is now on the record that Putin said that he was going to make his country the greatest country, economically, as he said in print that he is claiming part of Alaska. Adding fuel to the fire, it is now clear that Russia is also establishing plans for an Arctic industrialization. In geopolitical and military terms, it could be an easy to claim to make if the military resistance in Alaska is greatly compromised, and it has been.
 The last thing that country should do on a potential front line area is to close military facilities and bases, yet, this is exactly what is happening in Alaska. Obama and the Base Realignment and Closure Commission have been closing bases and/or reducing base operations all through Alaska. It has gotten so bad that the Alaskan Governor hired a lobbyist to prevent military reduction.
Two years ago, a prominent Russia Professor predicted the end of the United States. The professor stated that Alaska would return to the control of Russia and that the United States would be split into six pieces.  John McCain recently said “I think it’s very clear that Russian ambitions are to restore the old Russian Empire. Not the Soviet Union, but the Russian Empire.”
There is also a tunnel from Russia to Alaska being constructed. Are we funding our own demise with our tax money which is designed  to set up Russia’s future? Last summer, Russia challenged west coast detection capabilities of our military by making provocative moves with their submarines inside of our territorial waters. Also, in a stunning move, Putin banned adoptions of Russian children by American parents. Could it be likely that he is looking out for the Russian adoptees as this is a reaction to what Putin knows is coming?


Should we be closing bases on the potential front lines? Should we be failing to patrol off of our coast? Should we allow the unchallenged sightings of surfaced Russian subs close to the coastline? Any one of these events should be considered to be a serious national security concern. Yet, the media and Obama act as if all is well.
There are a lot of dots on this wall to connect. However, there is one monumental dot to seriously consider. Subsequently, I have some final questions. If Obama is willing to give away seven oil-rich Islands in the area of Alaska, during these tough economic times, then what exactly isn’t he capable of doing to the United States? Is the sacrifice of Alaska so far-fetched in light of these other considerations? Aren’t the apparent Russian plans to seize Alaska part of the fulfillment of the Heartland Theory in which Mother Russia propels itself in the status of the world’s super power by making itself both a land and sea power through the seizure of Alaska?
When someone can provide a plausible set of answers to the questions that I have raised here, then I will continue to sound the alarm that “The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming.”

Illinois State Rep Compares Gun Control To Population Control

Jurriaan Maessen
February 27, 2013

During a debate in the State Senate of Illinois yesterday, state representative Jim Sacia compared Chicago politicians’ efforts for even more gun control to the castration of individuals as a means of population control. In the heat of a Senate discussion on the matter of increased efforts by Chicago to further curb gun possession, Sacia stated:
“Last year there were more people killed with hammers than assault rifles. Here’s an analogy, folks. I ask you to think of this. You folks in Chicago want me to get castrated because your families are having too many kids …”
After being reprimanded for his remarks, Sacia continued:
“It was not out of order, I used it as an analogy, representative! I used it as a representative! It’s an analogy! If you’re having too many kids, you want me to get castrated! It was an analogy.”

According to political analyst Chuck Sweeny, after the session ended, Sacia explained he stands by his words:
” I used the analogy because Chicago hates guns, it’s like I should be castrated because their families are having too many children,” Sacia said, adding that a friend of his from Chicago protested the castration analogy.
“If this bill passes with all the amendments”, Sacia told Sweeny, “concealed carry will be legal but you won’t be able to carry your gun anywhere in Illinois. You can’t carry here, you can’t carry there. I can’t begin to rattle them all off. What we’re doing now is debating each one , one at a time”.
The amendment debated on Tuesday was one that “bans guns anywhere near a school.” In response Sacia rightly pointed out that banning guns near schools creates “killing fields for crazies”.
His fellow representatives may regard Sacia’s comments as out of order; in fact the analogy is spot on- more spot on perhaps than even Sacia himself realized. Both gun control and population control depend on an overcharged government, after all, disregarding personal choice and freedoms in favor of some common “good”. As with population control advocates hiding behind a plethora of pretexts to sell their dehumanizing goodies, the anti-Second Amendment crowd likes to make use of “events” to destroy a principle. Sacia therefore is far from out of order. On the contrary: his comments reflect a universal truth that needs to be told.
(24 HOUR EMERGENCY BROADCAST LINES, 605-562-7701 OR 512-646-5000).

Wal-Mart Situation "Getting Worse" New Leaks Reveal

Tyler Durden's picture

Two weeks ago, Wal-Mart stunned the world when a leaked memo discloses that February sales had been a "total disaster" and the company was facing the worst February start since 2006. Today, Bloomberg's deep throat in Bentonville strikes again, as a new leak emerges. "Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT), already struggling to woo shoppers constrained by higher taxes, is “"getting worse" at keeping shelves stocked, the retailer’s U.S. chief told executives, according to minutes of an officers’ meeting obtained by Bloomberg News. "We run out quickly and the new stuff doesn’t come in," U.S. Chief Executive Officer Bill Simon said, according to the minutes of the Feb. 1 meeting. Simon called “self-inflicted wounds” Wal-Mart’s “biggest risk” and said an executive vice president had been appointed to fix the restocking problem, according to the minutes."
So even as the market completely ignored the Wal-Mart revenue issue, which is "getting worse", the bigger problem is that now it appears to be affecting the company's supply-chain, which likely means that all of WMT's upstream vendors are suffering from the same malaise that has gripped all those entities that still rely on such historical trivia as profitability and cash flow:
Wal-Mart’s inability to keep its shelves stocked coincides with slowing sales growth. Same-store sales in the U.S. for the 13 weeks ending April 26 will be little changed, Simon said in the company’s Feb. 21 earnings call. Comparable sales increased 1 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an average of 1.4 percent from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. This year the shares gained 4.2 percent through yesterday, compared with a 5 percent advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Evelin Cruz, a department manager at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pico Rivera, California, said Simon’s comments from the officers’ meeting were “dead on.”

“There are gaps where merchandise is missing,” Cruz said in a telephone interview. “We are not talking about a couple of empty shelves. This is throughout the store in every store. Some places look like they’re going out of business.”

Cruz, 41, who has worked at Wal-Mart for nine years and oversees the photo and wireless sections at her store, said it can take weeks or months for merchandise to be replaced after it sells out.

“My camera bar hasn’t had cameras since early January,” she said. “They let the merchandise phase out but nothing new comes in to replace them. We’re supposed to have 72 cameras but we maybe have 12. What are customers supposed to buy?”
Sure enough, WMT again has pre-canned (pardon the pun) excuses for what this second leak is supposed to mean:
“There’s a number of misinterpretations and half- thoughts” in the documents, which were not official company minutes, David Tovar, a Wal-Mart spokesman said in a telephone interview.

When Simon said things were “getting worse” he was referring to “modular changes,” the process of replenishing merchandise to keep up with customer demand and changing seasons, Tovar said. Wal-Mart is working to “manage this in the most efficient way possible,” he said.

“We’re very pleased with our in-stock position,” he said, adding that products audited by the company and its consultants match or exceed historical levels. He declined to disclose what those levels are.

Tovar declined to make Simon available for comment
Naturally, following WMT's earnings, which showed that in the fourth quarter all was well, the market promptly forgot the recent "totally disastrous", completely oblivious that February is in the current quarter, and the management is obviously stonewalling the reality facing the retailer.
Yet if indeed there is a major issue affecting the world's most efficient logistical chain, what can other retailers say? And what are the implications for all other global trade routes, both macro and micro? Because if trade, which has been a casualty of central planning for years, is buckling, then is the scenario so vividly described in ""Trade-Off": A Study In Global Systemic Collapse" finally starting to come true?

World War C’ Warned To Crash US Economy By April year of the snake.

February 28, 2013

A grim Ministry of Finance (MOF) report circulating in the Kremlin today warns that Venezuela’s “nuclear option” crashing of its currency yesterday is a “clear signal”that the Western banking systems “house of cards”, erected in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 Global Economic Crisis, is in “total collapse” with the expected final outcome to be an “apocalyptic” crash of the US economy no later than April.
According to this MOF report, and what US financial experts described as “what lobbing a nuclear bomb into a currency war knife fight looks like”, Venezueladevalued its currency by an astounding 46% in the latest round of what is being described as the worst currency war our world has seen since the 1930’s, and which plunged the globe into total warfare.
Currency war, (World War C) also known as competitive devaluation, is a condition in international affairs where countries compete against each other to achieve a relatively low exchange rate for their own currency. As the price to buy a particular currency falls so too does the real price of exports from the country.
Imports become more expensive. So domestic industry, and thus employment, receives a boost in demand from both domestic and foreign markets.
However, the price increase for imports can harm citizens’ purchasing power. The policy can also trigger retaliatory action by other countries which in turn can lead to a general decline in international trade, harming all countries.
Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega, widely credited with coining the term “currency war”, further warned yesterday that the global situation could get even worse if Europe joins the fray, and which this MOF report warns the will have to do in the “very near future.”
Chris Richey, a top American financial analyst, further stated that as we have yet to enter a full-fledged war because the European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BOE) are not (yet) engaged in purposeful currency devaluation. Rather, since 2009, each has been pre-occupied with either saving their currency (the ECB) or saving their banking system (the BoE). The relative value of their respective currencies has not featured high on their list of priorities over the past four years.
Not so, however, Richey says, for the US Federal Reserve, the Swiss National Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Central Bank of Brazil, and the People’s Bank of China, all of whom have been very interested in the relative valuation of their currencies. And this is a list that matters because three of the top five global currencies are represented on that list and all of them have been engaged in competitive devaluations of their currency in order to promote their own exports.
This form of international contest, he continues, should strike those with a sense of history as similar to the trade and tariff wars of the Depression Era 1930′s: “beggaring thy neighbor” in order to extract one’s own country from economic straits. In the 1930′s, the “beggaring” took the form of either abandoning the gold standard, literally blocking the importation of foreign goods, or imposing tariffs so high that imports were effectively blocked.
This time around, he warns, there are no gold standards to abandon and international trade rules have become too ingrained, both economically and legally, for onerous tariffs or outright bans to be practical or legal. Thus, the only economic weapon left is that of currency devaluation.
Tensions were ratcheted up a couple notches with the recent election of Shinzo Abe as Japan’s Prime Minister this past December. As a candidate, Abe explicitly and repeatedly promised to double Japan’s inflation rate target from 1% to 2% via increased central government money printing, borrowing, and spending.
And while the Bank of Japan has pushed back against Mr. Abe’s proposals, we have still seen the Yen depreciate 25% against the Euro and 10% against the US Dollar since last July. In short, Japan is “all in” on making the Yen weaker and, thus, boosting Japan’s exporting companies.
Even worse, this MOF report says, with the US Federal Reserve admitting this past week that it has bought up more government debt than the US Treasury has issued (because no one else is buying it), and with China now accounting for nearly half of the world’s new money supply, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) of international trade has totally collapsed to levels not seen since the start of the 2008 Economic Crisis.
Though the US propaganda media is failing to alert the American people to the shattering of their economy (exactly like they did prior to the 2008 collapse which cost these people trillions) the same cannot be said for the elite classes who continue to move billions out of their banks (the most since 11 September 2001) and whose corporate insiders are dumping huge numbers of shares in their own companies right now.
To the exact timeline of this coming collapse of the US economy, this report says, was “clearly shown” last week when the Swiss global banking giant UBS reported that an anonymous options trader had made an enormous $11.25 million bet that the VIX will explode between 20-25 April.
While the volatility index (aka the VIX, aka the “fear index”) is near historic lows, the Business Insider news service states about this trade that someone would have to be“VERY confident” in their outlook to risk $11 million on a directional position with the VIX at five year lows and the markets trying to break out to new highs.
To how the West is preparing for this coming economic collapse can be seen in France, where its President ordered the mobilisation of the secret services and police to carry out surveillance of workers fighting mass unemployment and factory closures, and in the United States (recently named by Human Rights Watch as the “ prison capital of the world”) whose Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this past week added tens-of-millions of more rounds to an arsenal said to equip it to wage a “30-year war” against the American people.

Obama Death Fears Grow As US Military Takeover Nears Reports Russian Federal Security Services (FSB)

February 28, 2013

President Obama to visit to Israel March 20-22. the film Olympus falling is out on March 22, coincidence? thats 3/22 

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers     

A bizarre, but truly interesting, report prepared by the Federal Security Services (FSB) circulating in the Kremlin today suggests that American President Barack Obama may be about to be assassinated by factions within the US Military, and base this shocking conclusion on two major Hollywood movies due to be released this Spring and Summer.

Important to note about this report is its having been complied by FSB analysts who are devoted followers of the early 20th Century Austrian biologist Paul Kammerer(1880-1926), who in his 1919 book Das Gesetz der Serie Seriality postulated that all events are connected by waves of seriality (coincidence). Albert Einstein called Kammerer’s idea of seriality “interesting, and by no means absurd”, while Carl Jung drew upon Kammerer’s work in his essay Synchronicity.
Even though FSB research into seriality events are frequently held in disdain by Western intelligence agencies, one such report, in August, 2001, caused President Putin to issue a “grave warning” to the United States that they were about to be attacked by suicide bombers, and which did, indeed, occur on 11 September 2001.
The FSB report Putin based his warning to the US upon was a seriality research paper based upon an American television programme named The Lone Gunman which aired on 4 March 2001 which featured a terrorist plot to fly a commercial airliner into the World Trade Center. The climactic sequence actually shows the plane heading into one of the Twin Towers, but at the last minute, it’s pulled upward and just misses the building.
In this current report, FSB analysts are showing “increasing seriality concerns” over two major upcoming Hollywood movies depicting attacks upon the American White House, Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down.
Olympus Has Fallen depicts a scenario where the White House (Secret Service Code: “Olympus”) is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President is kidnapped, whereas White House Down is about an American domestic terrorist group that takes over the White House and the President must be rescued.
Where White House Down is due to be released on 28 June 2013, this report says, the release date of 22 March 2013 for Olympus Has Fallen is of much greater concern.
FSB analysts in this report note that the date of 3/22 is of “prime importance” to “various” secret societies operating at the highest echelons of US-British political, banking and military power structures who frequently stage their most shocking events to occur on dates having to do with the numbers 7, 11 and 22; such as 7 December 1941 (bombing of Pearl Harbor), 22 November 1963 (assassination of President John Kennedy), 7 July 2005 (London Bombings) and 11 September 2001 (attack on US soil), to just name a few.
Equally important to note about 3/22, this report continues, is its association with the infamous Skull & Bones secret society whose strange logo depicts this number, and the enigmatic Georgia Guidestones whose explanatory tablet states “Center cluster erected March 22, 1980” and states its purpose as being to educate humanity of the need to depopulate our world of billions of human beings so as to reach a balance of 500 million.
This FSB report further notes that a “concerning seriality” regarding these two Hollywood movies are their coinciding with two other major movie productions, Seven Days In May and Dr. Strangelove, that preceded the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Seven Days In May is said to have been influenced by the right-wing anti-Communist political activities of General Edwin A. Walker after he resigned from the USmilitary. An additional inspiration was provided by the 1961 interview by Fletcher Knebel, who was also a political journalist and columnist, conducted with the newly-appointed Air Force Chief of Staff, Curtis LeMay an advocate of the preventive first-strike nuclear option against the Soviet Union.
Dr. Strangelove concerns an unhinged United States Air Force general who orders a first strike nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. It follows the President of the United States, his advisors, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a Royal Air Force (RAF) officer as they try to recall the bombers to prevent a nuclear apocalypse. A first test screening of the film was scheduled for 22November 1963, the day of the John F. Kennedy assassination. The film was just weeks from its scheduled premiere, but because of the assassination the release was delayed until late January 1964, as it was felt that the public was in no mood for such a film any sooner.
The “coincidental commonality” of all of these movies, FSB analysts in this report say, are them all being supported by the Pentagon against American Presidents who were anti-military and sought broad powers to curb in the amount of US war spending.
In the case of Obama, this report continues, the US Military is particularly incensed after the Obama regime (and as we had previously reported on in our 1 February reportMilitary Terror Hits US Cities As Veterans Banned From Owning Guns) this past week started sending out notices to American veterans telling them they were no longer allowed to own guns.
Equally concerning to the US Military, this report says, is Obama regimes CSCOPE educational programme now being employed in Texas forcing high school girls to dress up in full-length Islamic burqas and then being instructed that Muslim terrorists are actually freedom fighters.
As fears grow that Italy may be the spark that sets off a financial Armageddon in Europe, this report concludes, and as International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Christine Lagarde has just issued a warning that “the world economy could end as we know it”, FSB analysts note that the insane levels of inequality in the US have grown worse under Obama than under Bush and note that the Obama regime is prosecuting fewer financial crimes than Bush, or his father, or Ronald Reagan, and that the richest Americans have captured more than 100% of all recent income gains.
Moody’s chief economist, and many others, have all said that the United States is controlled by an “oligarchy” or “oligopoly”, and the big banks and giant financial institutions are key players in that oligarchy which the Obama regime is determined to protect, but the US military is prepared to destroy.
To whom will win this epic battle it is not in our knowing, nor does this report say…but what can be said is that except for the elite few, everyone else will be the ultimate losers.

Explosive report: 98% of newborn babies are genetically screened

Explosive report: 98% of newborn babies are genetically screened

by Jon RappoportFebruary 27, 2013“Newborn Screening in America,” a report from the Council for Responsible Genetics, states: “Before they are even a week old, ninety-eight percent of the 4.3 million babies born annually in the United States have a small sample of blood taken from their heels.” The report continues: “These newborn bloodspots (NBS) are then screened for a variety of inherited conditions and may later be stored in state-operated databases…parents are often unaware of these screening programs and their consent options.”
This shocking national program, flying under the radar, is of course explained as a humane medical undertaking. But there is no across-the-board genetic treatment for any disease or illness. All the “maybe-possibly-in-the-future-cure” nonsense does nothing to justify this rank incursion on newborns and their unsuspecting families
The report goes on: “With respect to [bloodspot] sample storage and use, there is also little transparency regarding storage procedures or the use of the samples after they have been screened…many states do not have clearly articulated policies about consent for the storage and use of samples or may not effectively communicate these policies to parents.”
Then there is the question of who now has, or will have in the future, access to all these millions of blood samples and the results of the genetic screening.
Reliable and trustworthy assurances of citizen-privacy from the government have gone the way of the dinosaur and other extinct species.
Let’s see…DNA samples of nearly every newborn baby in America: surveillance and tracking, anyone? We have here the makings of a universal DNA database for “crime prevention.”
Controversial legislation introduced to obtain a DNA sample from every adult? It’s already being done covertly in hospitals, at birth.
What about technocrats obsessed with re-engineering humans? What about other researchers who want to run comparative DNA studies in thousands of different ways, for any purpose under the sun—who for example are intensely interested in making (or inventing) genetic distinctions between various socioeconomic sectors of society? This newborn database is irresistible.

You can be sure social, medical, and genetic engineers are looking at all this raw data like wild animals look at prey on the plains.

The idea of correlating genetic factors with “failure in life” is the Holy Grail for eugenicists. They will find a way to gain access to the data, because they want to build “a better world” and eliminate the “inferior” people.
Right now, we have rapid abortionists who earnestly believe and advocate the destruction of life after birth as a viable option. They even call it abortion. So a doctor could tell a parent, “The genetic profile of your baby is very problematic. You should consider terminating life…”

Again, all this illegal and immoral collection of genetic data from babies is justified as a “humane medical endeavor.” So ask your doctor, “Where is the ironclad proof that you have any genetic treatment for any disease that works across the board?” Don’t accept blue-sky predictions and promises.
Get real.
Because the State is getting real. They want control. And taking blood samples from babies is a giant step on the road to a genetic dictatorship.
Jon Rappoport
The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at

The Growing Tyranny of the Political Elite

By Jeffrey Folks   February 27, 2013
Recently, the White House released a photo of the president shooting skeet.  But where's the snap of him fishing for bass?  Apparently the White House felt compelled to portray Obama as a marksman in light of the widespread pushback over the administration's gun control agenda but felt no urgency to defend the prospect of the EPA's potential regulation of lead in fishing weights.  Yet the agency seriously entertained just such a ban last year.  What's next?  The lead in barbells?
For hundreds of years, human beings have used lead for many purposes, and life on earth has not exactly come to an end.  Now we are told that the lead used in hunting and fishing is harming animals and fish, and it may just have to stop.  The scary thing is that one individual, an appointed bureaucrat directing the Environmental Protection Agency, has the power to impose such a ban.
The pattern is familiar with this administration.  A small cadre of elite administrators, czars, judges, or politicians -- often just one person -- thinks it (or he or she) has the right to decide what's best for 320 million Americans. Without adequate information, debate, or cost analysis, regulations are written and imposed, and no one, not even the people's representatives in the House of Representatives, has the right to influence them.
Political elites have always existed in America, and during the past 100 years they have gravitated toward the Democratic Party.  FDR's "brain trust," which included Guy Tugwell and Hugh Johnson, was just one example.  But perhaps no administration in our history has been controlled by elites to the extent that the Obama presidency has.  With academics like Cass Sunstein and crony capitalists like those backing green energy projects calling the shots, the elite have stepped in, determined to rule in place of the public will.
What is now happening was predicted -- and celebrated -- over forty years ago by Robert L. Heilbroner, one of the darlings of the New Left.  In The Limits of American Capitalism, Heilbroner laid out a plan by which the innately conservative leanings of the American people could be quashed and replaced by the centralized control of a political elite.  Heilbroner's book concludes with a chilling vision of the way forward.  What he advocates is, in effect, a socialist totalitarian state, where the government controls every aspect of human life.  In the name of reform, this statist system would regulate if not nationalize all major industries -- but it would also go farther than that.
What Heilbroner envisaged was the rise of a ruling elite centralized in government, media, and the universities.  This group of decision-makers would operate "on behalf of" the public and on the basis of "scientific principles" of social control.  As Heilbroner writes, "[n]ot alone economic affairs ... but the numbers and location of the population, its genetic quality, the manner of social domestication of children, the choice of lifework -- even the duration of life itself -- are all apt to become subjects for scientific investigation and control" (The Limits of American Capitalism, New York, 1966, pp. 129-130).
Heilbroner's books were bestsellers in the 1960s, widely read and admired by liberals everywhere.  They were, in effect, neo-Keynesian, pro-statist instruction manuals studied by the likes of Bill Ayers and Cass Sunstein, President Obama's tutors in state control and regulation.
Heibroner's books popularized the liberal premise that the political elite has the right and obligation to make fundamental decisions on behalf of the mass of citizens.  In doing so, Heilbroner understood, the elite must find ways to subvert the naturally conservative inclinations of the people -- especially those lumpen-headed businessmen whom Heilbroner so despised.  Decision-making must be shifted from individuals and elected representatives to bureaucrats and judges appointed by leftist politicians.  Public opinion must be shaped and molded by elitist academics and journalists.  The will of the state must be imposed, by violence if necessary.  This was the future of America, according to Robert L. Heilbroner, and it is the vision of America adopted by those young activists in the 1960s and 1970s who now constitute the leadership of the Democratic Party.
Heilbroner believed that it would take hundreds of years to overturn democracy in America, in part because of the nation's widespread support of capitalism and the country's pesky tradition of individual rights.  He noted, however, that the process could be speeded up in the event of a severe economic crisis.  Another great national depression or prolonged recession would make it possible for government to enact a series of "reforms" that would shift control from the private sector to government.  Government would then control not just major sectors of the economy, but the personal lives of all citizens.  Their incomes, their health care, their educations, their home mortgages, their communications and entertainment, their access to news and information would all fall under the control of the political elite.  At that point, Heilbroner believed, utopia would be at hand.
Everything that Heilbroner predicted is now coming to pass.  Attorney General Holder has waged a virtual war against Arizona's attempt to defend itself against unchecked immigration.  Congress has created an office of consumer affairs with broad powers to regulate financial transactions. A European-style bureaucrat has been appointed to direct the rationing of medical services.  And the EPA believes that it has the authority not just to police hunting and fishing supplies, but to regulate carbon dioxide, a natural product of the act of breathing.
The preferred modus operandi, in fact, is to appoint a single individual with the power to control some large part of American life.  So much power has now been concentrated in the hands of a handful of appointees, most of them reporting directly to the president, that it is now doubtful whether America can still be considered a democratic nation.  Government has become the enemy of the people, because it is now in the hands of left-wing elitists who are opposed to traditional American values and who have only contempt for the democratic process.
Fortunately, Americans are becoming more aware of the concentration of power within the new political elite and more skeptical of the elite's ability to govern.  While the president's job approval rating has for the moment risen following his election victory, a growing number of Americans "strongly disapprove" of his performance.  An even larger percentage finds that Congress, with leaders like Democrat Harry Reid in charge of the Senate, is incapable of governing.
What's needed is to make 2014 another 2010 and throw the rascals out -- all of them who support Obama's unconstitutional "recess" appointments and agency power grabs.
Dr. Jeffrey Folks taught for thirty years in universities in Europe, America, and Japan.  He has published many books and articles on American culture and politics.

Retired General Tells Biden: Military Can Help With Gun Control Agenda

um go fuck your self  :0  douche bag  !!!   pussy !         & that goes fer U 2   Herr Dr. Funkenstein     & NAZI POLL-UP YER+ASS -SI  / HELL-ERY  "the rod" INTON   um oh yea where the fuck IS that ugly stick you's were beat wit ?   ----here's some food fer thought ----you AIN'T   fighting IN some FAR AWAY   Land  ?     you fuck's from hell :0 .... we  b  in OUR  Land ...neighbor !!!

Retired General Tells Biden: Military Can Help With Gun Control Agenda

Feinstein again promises to “press the case” for disarming Americans

Steve Watson
Feb 27, 2013
Ahead of a Senate hearing on gun control today, Vice President Joe Biden met with retired military officials to thrash out a strategy to win over public approval for the implementation of strict anti-gun measures.
Retired general Stephen Xenakis told The Hill that he suggested to Biden that members of the military could help the White House move forward with its gun control agenda.
“The vice president understands that when it comes to communicating with credibility on guns, the two groups with the most credibility are law enforcement and military officials,” he said. “We have experience with both having weapons and using them responsibly, so we can get that message out.”
Xenakis said that military officials would be on hand to pitch gun control talking points to the public.
“He has a plan and he’s working with leaders in Congress to get it done.” Xenakis said of the Vice President.
Xenakis also appeared in a new “Demand a Plan” gun control advocating commercial this week, featuring several other retired army generals, put out by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group, fronted by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Anti-second amendment lawmakers are scheduled to make their arguments in today’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Hearing. The Washington Times reports that those testifying will include, U.S. Attorney for Colorado John Walsh, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.
Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has once again vowed to push for strict gun control until it “gets done”.
Arguing that a total ban on semi-automatic rifles is entirely constitutional, Feinstein referred to “assault weapons” as “personal pleasures” during an MSNBC appearance.
“We will make the case that these weapons do not belong on the streets of our cities,” Feinstein said. “I recognize it’s an uphill battle. But I also know that these events are going to continue and America has to step up. The mothers, the women, the men of America have to make a decision as to whether their personal pleasure is more important than the general welfare.”
“Grievance killers look for these weapons. These weapons are easy to obtain. There are no background checks. You can buy them out of a back of a car, at a gun show. America’s laws are virtually nonexistent and, therefore, I think this is a good bill,” she said.
“I intend to fight. I did it once before. If it doesn’t get done right now, be assured I will continue to press the case.”
Watch the interview below:
In related news, Republican Rep. Steve Stockman has vowed to further investigate allegations that the Obama administration has been employing “spambots” to send out fake twitter messages and emails to members of Congress to make it appear that there is a ground swell of support for gun control legislation.
The messages have been linked to former Obama digital strategist Brad Schenck. The tweets were mostly sent from newly created accounts, and included the #WeDemandAVote hashtag — which Obama encouraged supporters to use.
“Obama’s anti-gun campaign is a fraud,” Rep. Stockman said Monday.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.
This article was posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:37 am

It’s Official, the Fourth Amendment is Dead

Kurt Nimmo
February 28, 2013

Tuesday’s ruling pitches the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure into the dustbin of history. Photo: Library of Congress.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court disemboweled the Fourth Amendment. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that citizens cannot challenge government wiretapping laws, in particular the unconstitutional Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and, more recently, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. According to Justice Samuel Alito, millions of Americans can no longer expect the government to uphold the Constitution and prevent the NSA from conducting dragnet surveillance.
The government established so-called “sovereign immunity” last August when the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco dismissed Al Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Obama following a December 2010 court case ruling the NSA’s warrantless wiretap program was illegal.
FISA is a near perfect scheme for the government. It allows the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to rubber-stamp surveillance requests of supposed terrorists (the Justice Department claims there are over a million terrorists in America). The feds are not obliged to identify a target and they can conduct surveillance a week before making a FISA Court request. Surveillance can continue in the unlikely event that a request is denied and an appeal is set in motion.
Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress passed the Patriot Act. It allows federal agents to write their own search warrants in violation of the Fourth Amendment and does away with the FISA-issued search warrant requirement, itself blatantly unconstitutional.
“FISA gives the government unchecked authority to snoop on all Americans who communicate with any foreign person, in direct contravention of the Fourth Amendment,” Andrew Napolitano wrote in December. “The right to privacy is a natural human right. Its enshrinement in the Constitution has largely kept America from becoming East Germany.”
Alito’s argument rests on the fact that FISA is a secret court. “Yet respondents have no actual knowledge of the Government’s §1881a targeting practices. Instead, respondents merely speculate and make assumptions about whether their communications with their foreign contacts will be acquired under §1881a,” he wrote.
Alito was joined Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor dissented the ruling.
Tuesday’s ruling pitches the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure into the dustbin of history. It means we are one step closer to becoming East Germany where the Stasi conducted dragnet surveillance with impunity.
Stasi, however, was old school. The modern high-tech surveillance state is infinitely more effective and will be used to monitor the political attitudes of all Americans in dragnet fashion and ferret out for persecution – and elimination – those who pose a threat to the status quo.
This article was posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 10:15 am

Japanese Police Arrest 27 File-Sharers in Nationwide Show of Force

Last year Japan introduced one of the toughest laws in the world for dealing with online piracy but with little visible action against file-sharers it was questioned whether the legislation would have teeth. That position has now dramatically switched, with police nationwide carrying out searches on 124 locations and arresting 27 people for online infringement. Those arrested face up to 10 years in jail.
Following complaints that the music industry was in peril from the actions of illegal file-sharers, in June 2012 the Japanese government approved an amendment to its Copyright Law that would see mere downloaders of illicit content face criminal penalties.
The new legislation, which kicked in October 1 2012, stated that those knowingly downloading copyright infringing material could face a two-year jail sentence or a fine of 2 million yen ($21,640). Existing legislation against uploaders of copyright content already provided for penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a 10 million yen ($108,202) fine.
The Japanese public hadn’t witnessed any large scale enforcement action since the law’s introduction nearly five months ago but all that changed a few days ago.
The National Police Agency’s Cybercrime Project and rightsholders including the Recording Industry Association of Japan have just revealed the results of an intensive three day anti-piracy crackdown.
The police say that they carried out raids on 124 locations in all 47 regions of Japan, to date arresting a total of 27 people for breaches of copyright law. The items being shared and/or downloaded unlawfully include movies, music, TV shows, games and business software.
The Recording Industry Association of Japan confirmed that at least two of the arrests related to their products. The first concerned a 41-year-old who had allegedly uploaded music using the file-sharing software ‘Share’ and the second involved a 42-year-old who allegedly uploaded a video clip using the same tool.
The MPA-affiliated Japan and International Motion Picture Copyright Association (JIMCA) say that a 40-year-old man was arrested February 19 for allegedly uploading copyrighted movies using the P2P software ‘Share’. An earlier raid netted the hardware pictured below.
Japan Share raid
In addition to the above, several other rights organizations were involved in reporting the remaining alleged infringers to the police. They are the Association of Copyright for Computer Software (ACCS), General Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (MPAJ), Japan Video Software Association (JVA), General Institute of Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) and the Business Software Alliance (BSA).
While this is the first large coordinated action since the new legislation passed October 1, Japanese police have also conducted smaller operations against alleged file-sharers. They include
• A man arrested for uploading English teaching materials (October 15)
• Three men arrested for uploading video games using WinMX (October 16)
• A man arrested for uploading word processing software to a cloud site (October 22)

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The new ‘smart tattoo’ that is coming to an arm near you

300px-GraphenI have been saying this for years–graphene would become the substrate for ‘smart’ tattoos.
An article published at the Daily Mail yesterday evening (2/22/13), reveals current research from Princeton that demonstrates just one new use of the miracle form of carbon, ‘graphene’. Graphene is a one atom thick layer form of carbon (the ’666′ element – one electron, one neutron, one proton). In graphene, the carbon atoms form a crystalline structure that gives the substance strength and flexibility.
Graphene uses include computer chips, touch screens, organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), solar cells, distillation, and many more. Now (as I have been predicting all along), the hexagonal lattice will provide the perfect setting for a smart tattoo. Now we have a ‘mark’ that can communicate with computers.
McAlpen’s group originally added a graphene tattoo to a cow’s tooth as a means to detect bacterial infection.
Mike McAlpen, one of the Princeton researchers who used graphene to tattoo cow’s teeth, is now experimenting with gold and silk as a substrate for the ‘smart’ tatt.
Though this ‘tatt’ is temporary, we might eventually see a version that is implanted just below the outer layer of skin–still visible, but tougher to remove. I can imagine how such a tattoo would be promoted. We’d see an ad where a man or woman with SARS or another easily transmissible illness (perhaps even a modern ‘plague’) is about to enter a plane loaded with passengers that include children. A small handheld ‘tricorder’ device scans everyone as they file past–suddenly, the device alarms. The ‘tattoo’ has told the ‘tricorder’ that the infected person is ill, and he/she is removed from the line and sent to a hospital for isolation. The passengers are saved!
Perhaps, such a device will also carry access to our Obamacare health records, or it has our driving history, our work history, our online passwords. One might easily imagine that such a ‘smart’ tattoo would become mandatory–for the safety and security of our nation AND to make all our lives happier, healthier, and more fulfilling.
And we could neither buy nor sell without one.  But even though Christian prophecy scholars view such cutting edge tech as ‘signs of the times’, others simply see these inventions as a means to make their lives easier. Consider Nokia’s recent patent application for a ‘smart’ graphene tattoo with magnetized ink that lets the wearer know when his/her phone is ringing. DNA  reading tattoos (Dattoos), a smart tattoo that displays blood sugar levels or health warnings, a tattoo that offers dynamic artwork–and even a touch screen that is embedded in one’s skin—all are now possible through graphene and its silicon counterpart, silicene.
We live in an ever-changing, brave new world. Are you ready?

Dancing With Manta Rays in Midnight Underwater Photo Shoot

Shawn Heinrichs and Kristian Schmidt’s photos of models swimming with whale sharks were a viral hit last month, helping raise awareness about a species that has been over-fished and killed by poachers harvesting shark fins. Now the pair of photographers are at it again, but this time they’re focusing on manta rays.
“Most of the world except for ocean enthusiasts have no clue what a manta ray is, let alone that it’s vulnerable. They normally associate it with a stingray,” Heinrichs says.
More Photos From the Animal Kingdom
Associating manta rays with stingrays is a problem because stingrays infamously killed Steve Irwin, “The Crocodile Hunter,” back in 2006. They might look similar, but unlike stingrays, manta rays are not dangerous. Instead, Heinrichs says they are highly social and gentle creatures. As trivial as it might seem, slight shifts in public perception can subconsciously affect efforts to save vulnerable species. Heinrichs says manta rays (and their relatives the mobula rays) are under threat because targeted fishing programs around the world are harvesting them in unsustainable numbers. Instead of their meat, fisherman are usually after them for their gill rakers, which these animals use to collect food such as plankton. The gill rakers are in high demand in Chinese markets because they’re believed to cure a wide variety of ailments — from chickenpox and cancer.
Like the whale shark photos, the manta ray images are high-contrast and striking. We wouldn’t be surprised if they spread equally as quickly across the internet. Many, however, also look heavily manipulated and in some instances the imagery feels overdone. Surprisingly, while there is some Photoshop to enhance the colors and levels, the model–manta ray interaction and the lighting is real. Nothing was added in.
The whale shark shoot was technically challenging, but Heinrichs says the manta ray shoot was even harder. Unlike the whale sharks, which were shot during the day in the Philippines, the manta rays were shot at night in Hawaii. The manta rays feed on plankton, which are attracted to bright lights in the dark.
To get enough light for the shoot, which was documented in both stills and video, Heinrichs and the team used 16 battery-powered Sola 4000s that lasted up to three hours and pumped out almost 70,000 lumens of light. Heinrichs and Schmidt used Canon 5D Mark IIIs and 1D Xs, which they say were crucial to the shoot because of how well the cameras perform in low light.
The shoot was anchored by Hannah Fraser, an underwater dancer and mermaid model, who had 50 pounds of weights tied to one of her legs so that she could stay 30 feet under water. She didn’t have her own air supply, so she would dance for up to two minutes and then signal for a safety diver to swim over and giver her air. At times the swells were so strong that two divers had to hold Fraser to prevent her from getting smacked against underwater rocks. Even though they were in Hawaii, the water was cold enough that the crew needed wetsuits, a comfort that Fraser had to go without.
“She was a machine,” Heinrichs says.
According to Manta Ray of Hope, the umbrella project that the fashion shoot was a part of, there are no hard numbers on global manta or mobula ray populations. What is known is that these rays are slow to reproduce. Female manta rays only give birth to one “pup” at a time and researchers believe they only have one pup every two to three years and may not have time to recover from the increase in fishing.
In addition to raising global awareness, the end goal for the shoot is to help ensure manta rays get protected by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. It’s an international agreement between governments that attempts to protect species from becoming extinct due to international economic activity.
Today, more than 30,000 species of animals and plants are granted varying degrees of protection by CITES and manta rays are on the ballot to receive protection when global delegates meet in Thailand in March. Heinrichs says he hopes to get mobula rays protected the next time the CITES delegates meet.
“We need to get the general public to understand what manta rays are and fall in love them so they can tell their [CITES] delegates to vote in favor of the listing,” Heinrichs says. “The problem is many of the delegates have no clue about manta rays and they are not in tune with these animals.”
The final piece of the project involves tourism. In addition to making sure trade in manta rays is governed by CITES, Heinrich says they want the photos to promote manta ray tourism as an alternative to harvesting them for their gill rakers. According to Heinrichs, manta rays could help global communities bring in 30-times more money if they’re used as tourist attractions instead of being sold as a medicinal product.
“The clock is ticking for the manta rays,” Heinrichs says.